Protesters fill the streets outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
This year, The Conversation celebrated the 50th anniversary of 1968 with its first podcast, ‘Heat and Light.’ These are some of the most interesting stories we uncovered – ones that still resonate in 2018.
Hubert Humphrey, left, and Lyndon Johnson, right.
AP Photo/Charles Harrity, File
In 1968, Lyndon Johnson’s ridicule of presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey as weak and feminine tells us something about how a party of progressives still struggles with the idea of masculinity.
The Supremes, with their polished performances and family-friendly lyrics, helped to bridge a cultural divide and temper racial tensions.
Fifty years ago, Sly and the Family Stone sang ‘We got to live together, I am no better and neither are you.’ The words ring just as true today.
That year, the pillars of 1960s pop music released unfocused, confused albums.
A few musicians metaphorically took to the streets. But most fled for cover.
Anne Moody penned her memoir at the urging of baseball great Jackie Robinson.
Does Anne Moody’s memoir represent how far we’ve come as a society? Or is it a stark reminder of how far we need to go?
Even 17 years beyond 2001, spacesuits are bulkier than this.
Matthew J. Cotter/Flickr
People are still wrestling with what artificial intelligence could and should do, half a century after the debut of the Kubrick-Clarke classic.
Richard Nixon, Republican candidate for president, is seen in August 1968.
From Thomas Jefferson to Donald Trump, the idea of the little guy ignored by politicians has loomed large in American political rhetoric.
The 747 takes off on its maiden voyage.
On Sept. 30, 1968, the first Boeing 747 rolled off the assembly line, ready to hit the skies as the bigger commercial jet at the time. Today, as its days as a civilian carrier come to a close, the first jumbo jet remains an icon of aviation.
The Mother of All Demos.
In 1968 computers were the size of a room. But after the founding of Intel and the introduction of the mouse that year they would eventually fit in a pocket – and change the Silicon Valley forever.
A scene from Doug Engelbart’s groundbreaking 1968 computer demo.
Doug Engelbart Institute
A 90-minute presentation in 1968 showed off the earliest desktop computer system. In the process it introduced the idea that technology could make individuals better – if government funded research.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam, in 1969.
John Lennon’s Revolution was panned by the radical media as a ‘petty bourgeois cry of fear’ in 1968. Then, in 1987 it was claimed by Nike to be the controversial soundtrack of its most seminal advert.
Nervous about how southern television viewers would react, NBC executives closely monitored the filming of the kiss between Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner.
U.S. Air Force
The career arc of Nichelle Nichols – the first black woman to have a continuing co-starring role on TV – shows how diverse casting can have as much of an impact off the screen as it does on it.
The poor treatment of Vietnam War veterans, many of whom had PTSD, angered Natasha Zaretsky’s Midwestern students.
A scholar raised by leftist San Francisco parents in the 1970s ends up teaching in the heartland, where her students represent a very different kind of politics. What she learns from them is profound.
Fifty years ago, students rose up against authoritarian governments, racial inequality and, most passionately, the war in Vietnam. Two historians reflect on those momentous days in 1968 – and discuss what current movements learn from them.
Black power militant H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael (right) appeared at a sit-in protest at Columbia University in New York City on April 26, 1968.
The 1968 protests at Columbia University led the institution to abandon a gym project that residents considered racist and cut off its defense work – and generated worldwide attention in the process.
Detail from Julie Shiels’ 1954 poster White on black: The annihilation of Aboriginal people and their culture cannot be separated from the destruction of nature.
State Library of Victoria
It is 50 years since anthropologist W.E.H. Stanner gave the Boyer Lectures in which he coined the phrase ‘the great Australian silence’. How far have we come since?
Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon smiles for the cameras during a 1968 news conference.
Fifty years ago, an insurance agent named Paul Simpson was convinced of rampant bias on the evening news. So he embarked on a project to record each broadcast and store them at Vanderbilt University.
‘Earthrise,’ which appeared on the cover of the second and third Whole Earth Catalog, was taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders during lunar orbit, Dec. 24, 1968.
The Whole Earth Catalog was a blueprint for sustainability that envisioned humans living in balance with nature. Its creative spirit was welcomed in a year riven by war, assassinations and riots.
Slums like this one in Rio de Janeiro embody the problems Paul Ehrlich warned of in ‘The Population Bomb.’
Fifty years ago biologist Paul Ehrlich published ‘The Population Bomb,’ an apocalyptic warning that overcrowding would lead to wars and famine. Here’s what the book got right and wrong.
Pope Paul VI banned contraception for Catholics in the 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae.”
AP Photo/Jim Pringle
July marks 50 years of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical prohibiting contraceptive use. For many years prior to it, the church had not been so explicit on its stance. How did it become such a thorny issue?